The Army activated the largest mobilization of reserve forces in cyberspace the week of August 14 to establish Task Force Echo.
This cyber task force, which consists of 138 National Guard members from seven states, will be directly under the command of Army Cyber Command and support the larger efforts of U.S. Cyber Command, an Army statement read. The task force will provide critical support for CYBERCOM to carry out its cyberspace mission and operations against adversaries, the statement said.
This mobilization “highlights the total Army’s capability and focus to support cyber operations and carry out defense of the Army network.” The Army is responsible for providing a total of 41 of the 133 teams to Cyber Command’s cyber mission force. In addition to these 41 active teams, the Army is also standing up 11 teams within the National Guard and 10 in the Army Reserves.
“This is truly an important formation as we take a look at what we anticipate will be a total force mission,” Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Army Cyber Command, was quoted as saying during a transition-of-authority ceremony last week. “The soldiers of the 169th Cyber Protection Team and Task Force Echo will bring unique and diverse talents to this increasingly complex phase.”
Members of TF Echo come from a wide variety of civilian sectors that include government cyber expertise and IT, the Army’s statement said. One of the benefits of guardsmen and reservists in the cyber realm is the expertise gained by those in full-time jobs with technology and cybersecurity companies, top military brass has lauded.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.